Monday, April 11, 2011

Patternmaking Practice and Progress - The Race With Time

Ideally, I want to be able to at least send my son to private school next year when he turns 5. However, I've got to make the money to be able to do it. My plan is to try and make money as a patternmaker to facilitate this so this is why I took the time out yesterday to see just how feasible this idea is.

I wanted to see just how many blocks I've got to do in Connie Amaden Crawford's book "Patternmaking made easy". There are about 200+ pattern blocks, yes there are 22 main pattern blocks that everything else is built on, but their variations should be practiced too so the principals can "set" in your mind as well as in "your hands" like riding a bike actually.

My goal is to attempt to get all the blocks done by the end of this year and re-launch my patternmaking ad online again in the beginning of 2012. I hope I'll be able to make it. It does mean that I'll have to try and do 2 or 3 pattern blocks every day or more whenever I can to make up for when I can't work on them at all. So here's to juggling. I'm in for the good fight. To my kids!

If you'd like to order Connie's book to learn pattern making (I highly recommend this over all other patternmaking books) you can get it through my fashion squidoo lens at: Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Struggling Patternmaking Student / Freelance Writer

I finally got Connie's book Patternmaking made Easy. Turns out you really need a dress form to achieve the first block, the basic two dart bodice block. I don't have the money for that right now. So what I did, is reverse engineered a suitable Lutterloh pattern using the following method,

- first I drafted it out according to size "s"

- I used size "s" bust and waist measurements to calculate the amount of ease to trim off the pattern

- overlayed the front portion over the back portion to 'true' up the pattern's side seams and align back and front darts according to apex location

- then blacked in the lines and re-enforced them with tape

This is making it sound a lot easier than it actually was, because I had a few false attempts that didn't work out, no thanks to not having a dress form so it actually took me a few days to get it right. The truth is I don't actually recommend this technique to anyone because without a dressform, it's really kind of a hit or miss.

This means that if I was to work with these blocks to develop patterns for someone, the resulting patterns would need more alterations made than they otherwise would. My particular concerns are for the depth of the neckline and armhole seams as well as the relation of the bust apex level to waist line and shoulder to waistline measurements. So there you have it, don't try this if you can afford a dress form.

If I had a client, I would give it a shot and request for measurements to be provided so I could make the necessary adjustments could be made before completing more than one pattern. That approach would probably work quite well as I would gladly re-draft my basic bodice block to "Get It Right".

For now though, I'm practicing the other blocks. They are all built around the original bodice block, so what I've been doing is using the transfer technique and re-drawing the original block everytime I've got to do a new one to practice. Draw in the changes for the different block, cut and spread it as needed, tape it up, trace out a "good copy" then black in the lines.

It's good practice, I really enjoy it and recommend it to anyone seriously wanting to learn how to do patternmaking.

If you want to get your hands on Connie's book Patternmaking made Easy, you can order it through my site at: Budget Online Fashion Design Schools and Resources